In this volume, Executive Editor Ron Ottinger and Contributing Editors Cary Sneider and Ian Hickox have collected expert perspectives on the state of the field of STEM learning—especially in afterschool and summer learning opportunities. Learn about the more than 40 thought leaders who provide persuasive evidence and real-world examples to inform effective partnerships, policies, and actions to bring quality STEM learning to children and youth across the nation.
Director, STEM Next
A national leader and expert in STEM learning, Ron Ottinger is known for his expertise in informal and out-of-school time STEM education and in building collaborations among schools, science centers, communities and afterschool programs that increase STEM learning opportunities for young people. Ron is Director of STEM Next and serves as co-chair of the national STEM Funders Network. For the past nine years, he led the Noyce Foundation which for a quarter-century was dedicated to helping young people become curious, thoughtful, and engaged learners. Prior to joining Noyce, Ron served for fourteen years as National Associate Director of the non-profit AVID Center. He was elected to three terms on the San Diego City Schools’ Board of Education from 1992-2004, during a period of major reform of the school system, and was the longest running board president.
STEM Coordinator, Indiana Afterschool Network
Bob Abrams works with the Indiana Afterschool Network (IAN), coordinating that organization’s STEM initiative. He also serves as the Director of Administration of Magnify Learning, an Indiana-based organization that provides professional development in project based learning facilitation to educators nationally. Previously, Bob was employed for six years by Economic Opportunities through Education (ECO15) where he worked with educators and manufacturers in southeastern Indiana on programs focused on preparing the SE Indiana workforce to meet the requirements of STEM-based industry. He is a member of the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation Board of School Trustees and co-leads the Indiana STEM Education Taskforce, a state-wide coalition of representatives from informal education, business, K-12 education, higher education, state and local government, and STEM content providers. Click here to read his article.
Paul J. Ainslie, Ph.D.
Managing Director, I-STEM Resource Network
Paul J. Ainslie, Ph.D. is currently the Managing Director of the I-STEM Resource Network at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. In this position he manages the Indiana Science Initiative and leads the Indiana STEM Action Coalition. Previously he held several positions at General Motors and Delphi Electronics and Safety in Michigan, Indiana, and California, including Director for Advanced Product Development, Product Line Manager for Semiconductors, Sensors and Power Modules, and Manager, IC Design Center and IC Advanced Process Development. He has also worked in the biomedical and geophysical industries. Paul has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the University of Michigan, and Masters and Doctoral degrees in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Click here to read his article.
Patty Allen, Ph.D.
Research Manager, The PEAR Institute
Patty Allen, Ph.D. is the Research Manager at The PEAR Institute: Partnerships in Education and Resilience at McLean Hospital and an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She was awarded a doctoral degree in Experimental Psychology from Tufts University in 2013 and has a demonstrated record of research productivity in the areas of nutrition, psychiatry, and neuroscience. She has received several distinguished awards and prizes throughout her academic career for her research, scholarship, and leadership. After devoting many years conducting “bench-to-bedside” research, she was drawn to PEAR. Dr. Allen is currently leading multiple national evaluation efforts to collect evidence of STEM learning to help ensure that youth across the country have positive, high-quality experiences when they participate in STEM activities inside and outside of school. Click here to read her article.
Senior Program Manager, Pathways to Prosperity Network
Tobie Baker-Wright serves as senior program manager of the Pathways to Prosperity Network, where she works with Jobs for the Future’s secondary through postsecondary initiatives. She is also the program manager for the Possible Futures, Possible Selves initiative. Ms. Baker-Wright has 20 years of experience in education; she was a committed science educator for programs such as the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, SMILE, Salmoncamp, and NAMS and has taught in the more traditional K-12 environment as teacher and as an adjunct professor for Oregon State University. Before joining JFF, she was the director of an Expeditionary Learning school where she led student-centered approaches to teaching and learning. Ms. Baker-Wright holds a bachelor of arts in international studies and a bachelor of science in environmental science from Oregon State University, an M.A.T. from Lewis & Clark College, and several professional teaching licenses. Click here to read her article.
Executive Director, Engaging Creative Minds
Robin Berlinsky is Executive Director of Engaging Creative Minds (ECM). She taught first and fifth grades in New York and South Carolina and has been a member of the adjunct faculty at the College of Charleston’s School of Education Health and Human Performance since 1996. Prior to joining ECM in 2013, Berlinsky was a founding board member and the first Director of Education for the Childrens Museum of the Lowcountry where she created hands-on arts-integrated curriculum for the exhibits. She is a member of the National Advisory Committee for the National Association of Elementary School Principals, a member of the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Charleston team, and a board member for the Palmetto State Arts Education. Berlinksy holds an M.Ed in Teaching Reading from The Citadel. Click here to read her article.
Bronwyn Bevan, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist, the University of Washington
Bronwyn Bevan, PhD, is Senior Research Scientist at the University of Washington. Bevan’s research examines how STEM learning opportunities, across formal and informal settings, can be organized to broaden participation in science and advance equity in education. She served on the National Research Council’s Committee on Out-of- School Time STEM Learning and is on the editorial board of Science Education. Click here to read her article.
Executive Director, American Youth Policy Forum
Betsy Brand has served as the Executive Director of AYPF since 2004, and she served as Co-Director of the organization since 1998. Betsy has spent her career working on education, workforce, and youth policy and specializes in comprehensive approaches to helping young people be prepared for today’s careers, lifelong learning, and civic engagement. Betsy’s education policy career started when she served as a Legislative Associate for the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor from 1977 to 1983. She subsequently served with Senator Dan Quayle as a Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. In 1989, Betsy was appointed Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education, under President George H.W. Bush. Click here to read her article.
Director, The Clubhouse Network
Gail Breslow has led the Clubhouse movement since 1995—a global network of community-based centers where youth create STEM-rich projects based on their interests, supported by mentors. Under her leadership the Clubhouse won the Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation and has grown from a single location in Boston to 100 Clubhouses in 20 countries. Gail has spearheaded initiatives such as Hear Our Voices, a program for young women funded by the National Science Foundation; and Clubhouse-to-College/Clubhouse-to-Career. Previously Gail spent 12 years as a management consultant with Gemini Consulting, and three years as Program Director at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She holds an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and a BA from Oberlin College. Click here to read her article.
President, Bolster Mission Consulting
Jim Chesire is President of Bolster Mission Consulting. In 2014, the Imagine Science partnership engaged Bolster Mission and Jim has served as the project’s consulting national director since. Prior to Imagine Science, Jim worked as a consulting strategist and project manager for several of the largest community youth development and human service providers in Chicago and Illinois. Before founding Bolster Mission, Jim was Project and Executive Director of the Chicago Out-of- School Time (OST) Project & Chicago Allies for Youth Success. Jim has a master’s degree in Education & Human Development from Harvard University and undergraduate studies in educational psychology and the fine arts with Bradford-Merrimack College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Click here to read his article.
President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Jim Clark joined Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) as president and CEO in January 2012. He has guided the organization through the launch of an exciting new strategic direction, the Great Futures Impact Plan. His focus on outcome-driven programs is matched by his commitment to a comprehensive system for measuring Club impact, which empowers Clubs to improve their services and do more for young people. Prior to joining BGCA, Clark spent eight years as president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. Clark also enjoyed success in the publishing industry, where he served in senior leadership roles in distribution, sales/marketing and customer service operations. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Clark received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with a major in finance and marketing. Click here to read his article.
Network Lead, Beyond School Bells
Jeff Cole has been the Network Lead for Beyond School Bells, Nebraska’s statewide afterschool network and a public-private partnership at Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, for ten years. Jeff got his start in afterschool while teaching at NYC’s High School for Environmental Studies. That led to an exclusive focus on developing the school’s STEM-rich afterschool and summer programs, work that continued when he relocated to Lincoln. Jeff helped develop Lincoln’s city-wide afterschool system, which has grown into a network of 27 schools implementing a full service community school strategy. Jeff returned to working at the intersection of afterschool and STEM through the first round of Noyce Foundation STEM systems building grants in 2012. Jeff is has a Masters in economics and was a Fulbright researcher in Poland. Click here to read his article.
Lynn D. Dierking, Ph.D.
Director of Strategy and Partnerships, Institute for Learning Innovation
Lynn D. Dierking is Director of Strategy and Partnerships at the Institute for Learning Innovation and professor of free-choice/informal STEM learning at Oregon State University. Her research focuses on free-choice, out-of-school learning, with youth and families, particularly those living in poverty and/or not historically engaged in STEM learning across their lifetime. Dierking is PI of a US-NSF project, SYNERGIES: Customizing Interventions to Sustain Youth STEM Interest and Participation Pathways, studying and maintaining youths’ STEM interest and participation in an under-resourced community and is co-PI of a US-NSF/UK-Wellcome Trust Science Learning+ Partnership project, ‘Equitable STEM Pathways.’ She is on Editorial Boards for Connected Science Learning, Afterschool Matters and Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship. Dierking has a doctorate in Science Education from University of Florida. Click here to read her article.
New York State Commissioner of Education
MaryEllen Elia is the New York State Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York (USNY). In this role, she oversees the work of more than 700 school districts with 3.2 million students; 7,000 libraries; 900 museums; and 52 professions encompassing more than 850,000 licensees. A native New Yorker, Commissioner Elia has 45 years of experience as an educator. Prior to her appointment in New York, she served as superintendent of schools in Hillsborough County, Florida, for 10 years. In Hillsborough she successfully implemented higher learning standards, partnered with teachers to develop a comprehensive evaluation system, and earned national recognition for gains in student achievement. For this work, she was named the 2015 Florida Superintendent of the Year, a recipient of the 2015 AASA Women in School Leadership Award from the School Superintendents Association, and was one of four finalists for the 2015 National Superintendent of the Year award. Click here to read her article.
John D. Falk, Ph.D.
Director, Institute for Learning Innovation
Dr. John H. Falk is Director of the Institute for Learning Innovation and Emeritus Sea Grant Professor of Free-Choice Learning at Oregon State University. He is a leading expert on free-choice learning; the learning that occurs when people have significant choice and control over the what, where and when of their learning. His current research focuses on studying the community impacts of museums, libraries, zoos and aquariums; understanding the self-related reasons people utilize free-choice learning settings during their leisure time and helping cultural institutions re-think their educational positioning in the 21st century. He has doctorates from U.C. Berkeley in ecology and science education. Click here to read his article.
Michael Feder, Ph.D
Former Director, STEMx at Battelle
Michael Feder, Ph.D is the former Director of STEMx at Battelle, a coalition of STEM education networks that supports and coordinate STEM education across the nation. Previously, he served as the senior program officer for the Board on Science Education (BOSE) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. There, he managed consensus studies on many topics including informal STEM education, K-12 STEM education standards, federal science education programs, and science communication. Michael also served as a policy analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. As a policy analyst, he managed the Committee on STEM Education, which developed a 5-year federal STEM education strategic plan. Released in 2013, it is the culmination of two years of work with leaders from 13 federal agencies. Dr. Feder earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in applied developmental psychology at George Mason University. Click here to read his article.
Sylvester James Gates Jr., Ph.D.
Professor of Physics, University of Maryland
Sylvester James Gates Jr., Ph.D. is a Distinguished University Professor, University System of Maryland Regents Professor, and John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland. Dr. Gates is known for his pioneering work in supersymmetry and supergravity, areas closely related to string theory. Dr. Gates is the first African American to hold an endowed chair in physics at a major U.S. research university, the author of more than 200 research papers, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Gates received the National Medal of Science from President Obama in 2013. He serves on National Commission on Forensic Science and the Maryland State Board of Education. He is a strong advocate for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Click here to read the Foreword.
Vice President of STEM in Learning Communities, New York Hall of Science (NYSCI)
Andrés Henríquez is the vice president of STEM in Learning Communities at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), where he leads the Queens 20/20 initiative. He previously worked as a program officer at both the National Science Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. He also served as Assistant Director at the Center for Children and Technology (CCT) where he led a partnership between Bell Atlantic and the Union City schools in New Jersey. At Carnegie Corporation, Henríquez launched a national program of work focused around adolescent literacy and also funded and oversaw the development of the Next Generation Science Standards including the National Research Council’s (NRC) Framework for K-12 Science Education, and the funding of Achieve Inc. to develop the framework-aligned Next Generation Science Standards. Click here to read his article.
Krissi Hewitt, Ph.D.
Regional Education Partnership Policy Advisor, Oregon’s Chief Education Office
Dr. Krissi Hewitt serves as the Regional Education Partnership Policy Advisor for Oregon’s Chief Education Office, directing the state agency’s cross-sector education partnership initiatives and conducting policy analyses relevant to STEM and CTE. Krissi has over 10 years of experience in STEM education transformation and research. Her current focus is on strengthening regional partnerships to empower communities to impact education at the local-level and to influence policy at the state-level. In addition to her work as policy advisor, she also serves as graduate faculty for the College of Education at Oregon State University. Krissi earned her PhD in Science Education from Oregon State University, MS in Microbiology from San Diego State University, and her BS in Biology from the University of California, San Diego. Click here to read her article.
Eric Jolly, Ph.D.
President and CEO, Minnesota Philanthropy Partners
Dr. Eric Jolly joined Minnesota Philanthropy Partners in 2015, after 11 years as the president and CEO of the highly esteemed Science Museum of Minnesota. He is a former Kellogg Leadership Fellow, where he studied international philanthropy and first wrote professionally about the realities and differences between donor interests and community need. His work leading MN Partners gives him the opportunity to apply his unique perspective, which has been honed over the years through service on many boards and councils. Eric has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Oklahoma, and is chair of the National Academies of Science Expert STEM Panel, where he advances national policy in education especially for engineering and the STEM disciplines. He has a background in higher education and has lectured around the world on the importance of STEM education in contemporary societies. Click here to read his article.
Linda Kekelis, Ph.D.
Dr. Linda Kekelis is a consultant with a longstanding passion for ensuring that all youth, particularly girls and underrepresented youth, have access to STEM opportunities. She collaborates with girl-serving organizations, participates on advisory boards, and works with partners to promote participation in STEM. She was the founder and former CEO of Techbridge Girls. She directed several grants from the National Science Foundation to design and scale up Techbridge programs and develop resources for effective outreach for role models. Linda serves in a leadership role on state and national initiatives including the California Girls Collaborative Project and National Academy of Engineering’s EngineerGirl and LinkEngineering projects. Linda has a master’s degree in Linguistics from the University of Southern California and a doctorate in Special Education from the University of California, Berkeley. Click here to read her article.
Policy Research Assistant, American Youth Policy Forum
Jessica Kannam joined AYPF in January 2017. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies, and a certificate in Community Action and Public Policy from Connecticut College. Prior to AYPF, Jessica worked as a junior associate in the enrollment office of DC Public Schools, as part of their Urban Education Leaders Internship Program, and as an intern in the Housing Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services. While studying abroad in South Africa, Jessica researched the experiences of racial identity among young adults in Cape Town and the impact of school on identity formation. Upon returning to the U.S., Jessica completed a thesis on the role of community-based organizations and organizing in addressing the barriers to and opportunities for equitable and quality education. Click here to read her article.
Anita Krishnamurthi, Ph.D.
Vice President, STEM Policy, Afterschool Alliance
Dr. Anita Krishnamurthi is the Vice President for STEM Policy at the Afterschool Alliance where she leads the advocacy work for the important role afterschool programs play in the nation’s STEM education improvement efforts. She works at the intersection of policy, research, and partnerships with national, state and local partners to determine national priorities for afterschool STEM policy, research and field-support. One of her major recent projects was launching and leading the Afterschool STEM Hub, a broad coalition of afterschool stakeholders that serves as a think tank of key leaders who work to advance afterschool STEM learning opportunities. An astronomer by training, Anita received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University and has worked at the National Academy of Sciences, NASA Headquarters and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Click here to read her article.
STEM and CTE Policy Director, Oregon Chief Education Office
Mark Lewis serves as the STEM and CTE Policy Director in the Oregon Chief Education Office. In this role, Mark oversees state policy development and the work of the STEM Investment Council. He also monitors and guides the effective implementation of a portfolio of STEM investments in the P-20 educational ecosystem. With an undergraduate degree from Caltech and a Master’s Degree in Education, he brings over 25 years of experience in STEM—from his first career as a satellite engineer, to teaching high school science and mathematics, to leading professional development and strategic planning initiatives in Washington state. A lifelong educator, tinkerer, and advocate for youth, Mark is driven by a passion for the critical role that education has in shaping the lives and prosperity of individuals and communities. Click here to read his article.
Todd D. Little, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of the Institute for Measurement, Methodology, Analysis and Policy, Texas Tech University
Todd D. Little, Ph.D. is a professor and director of the Institute for Measurement, Methodology, Analysis and Policy at Texas Tech University. Dr. Little is widely recognized for his quantitative work on various aspects of applied SEM as well as his substantive developmental research. In 2001, Dr. Little was elected to membership in the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology, and in 2009, he was elected President of APA’s Division 5 (Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics). He founded the internationally renowned Stats Camps. He is a fellow in APA, APS, and AAAS. In 2013, he received the Cohen award from Division 5 of APA for distinguished contributions to teaching and mentoring and in 2015 he received the inaugural distinguished contributions award for mentoring developmental scientists from the Society for Research in Child Development. Click here to read his article.
Manager, Research & Technology (R&T) Group, Rolls- Royce Corporation
Reginald McGregor is a Manager in the Research & Technology (R&T) Group at Rolls- Royce Corporation (RRC) in Indianapolis, Indiana. McGregor manages the RRC engineering talent pipeline, overseeing the K-12 STEM Initiatives, Collegiate Co-op Program and Early Career Engineering Leadership Development Programs. He is a Mechanical Engineer with an MBA; he has over 13 years’ experience in the aerospace industry. He serves on several boards including Board of Trustees for Martin University; Lawrence Township School Board; Governor’s Region 5 Works Council; Purdue Engineering Education Industrial Advisory Council; Indiana Afterschool Network and American Society Engineering Education (ASEE). In 2006, he received the Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) Award. Click here to read his article.
Gil Noam, Ed.D., Ph.D. (Habil)
Founder and Director, The PEAR Institute
Gil Noam, Ed.D., Ph.D. (Habil), is the founder and director of The PEAR Institute: Partnerships in Education and Resilience at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. He is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School focusing on prevention and resilience. He served as the director of the Risk and Prevention Program and is the founder of the RALLY Prevention Program,. He has published over 200 papers, articles, and books in the areas of child and adolescent development as well as risk and resiliency in clinical, school, and afterschool settings. He also served as the editor-in-chief of the journal New Directions in Youth Development: Theory, Practice and Research with a strong focus on out-of-school time. Dr. Noam is trained as a clinical and developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst in both Europe and the United States. Click here to read his article.
Pendred Noyce, M.D.
Author, Physician, and Co-Founding Trustee of the Noyce Foundation
Pendred (Penny) Noyce was Co-Principal Investigator of the NSF-funded Massachusetts State Systemic Initiative Program and of PALMS, a $16 million NSF-funded State Systemic Initiative to improve mathematics, science, and technology education in Massachusetts. Noyce chairs the board of the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy in Massachusetts and serves on the boards of the Concord Consortium, the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP), TERC, and the Libra Foundation. She was a co-founding trustee of the Noyce Foundation. Click here to read the Preface.
Gerrita Postlewait, Ph.D.
Superintendent, Charleston County School District
Gerrita Postlewait, Ph.D. became Charleston County’s (SC) Superintendent of Schools in, 2015. She brings with her a wealth of experiences as an education practitioner and leader at the district, state, and national levels, and as an executive in the private sector. She served as Chair of the State Board of Education, as a member of the national governing board of the American Association of School Administrators, and as a consultant for districts, states, and national organizations. As Chief K-12 Officer for a foundation, she helped establish the Innovation Lab Network and co-founded Transform SC. Dr. Postlewait’s goal is to work with educators, students, parents, and community partners to dramatically increase the percentage of students who are ready for careers, college, and life. Click here to read her article.
Stephen L. Pruitt, Ph.D.
Commissioner of Education, State of Kentucky
Stephen L. Pruitt, Ph.D. serves as Kentucky’s sixth Commissioner of Education. Commissioner Pruitt came to Kentucky with an extensive background in education at the local, state and national levels, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the national Council for Chief State School Officers. Pruitt started his education career as a high school chemistry teacher in Fayetteville and Tyrone, Georgia. He later served as senior vice president for Achieve, Inc., a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit education reform organization. During his tenure with Achieve, he was selected to help develop what became A Framework for K–12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts and Core Ideas. He was then tapped to lead the effort to implement the Framework’s guidelines and create the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Click here to read his article.
Chairman, Engaging Creative Minds Board
Scott Shanklin-Peterson, Chairman, Engaging Creative Minds (ECM), served as the National Endowment for the Arts Senior Deputy Chairman (1993-2001), and developed initiatives to broaden public access to the excellence and diversity of the arts and arts education across America. Previously Shanklin-Peterson was Executive Director of the SC Arts Commission, (1980-1993). As the College of Charleston Arts Management Program Director, starting in 2001, Shanklin-Peterson saw a need to connect schools with Charleston’s vibrant arts sector. Knowing the critical value of partnerships, Shanklin-Peterson convened local school districts, arts organizations, artists, city governments and private sector to create Engaging Creative Minds (ECM). Click here to read her article.
Director, Omaha STEM Ecosystem
Julie Sigmon currently serves as the Director for the Omaha STEM Ecosystem, a recently formed organization that encompasses a rich array of STEM learning opportunities that ensure Omaha is meeting the future goals for STEM talent in the workforce. Sigmon has been involved in the education field for over 40 years, including previous experiences involved contract work around quality in STEM programs, especially Out of School Time programs in Omaha, as well as serving as the external evaluator for the NE STEM 4U program at University of NE Omaha. Sigmon currently serves on the boards of Nebraska’s Beyond School Bells and the Nebraska SciFest Board. Sigmon has a bachelor’s of science in Special Education from the University of Tulsa and a master’s degree in Education Administration and Supervision from Roosevelt University. Click here to read her article.
President and CEO, National 4-H Council
Jennifer Sirangelo leads National 4-H Council in its mission to increase investment and participation in high-quality, 4‑H positive youth development programs. Sirangelo, who joined Council in 2006 to grow support for the 4‑H movement, is focused on supporting growth and leadership development for nearly six million young people through 4-H programs in science, agriculture, health and citizenship. She is currently leading the largest brand and alumni activation initiative in 4-H history, the Grow True Leaders Campaign. A Missouri native, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and political science from William Jewell College, a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse University and attended St. Peter’s College at Oxford University. As an undergraduate, Sirangelo was recognized as a Harry S. Truman Scholar. She currently serves on the board of AgriCorps and Imagine Science. Click here to read her article.
Cary Sneider, Ph.D.
Professor, Portland State University
Cary Sneider, Ph.D. teaches courses in research methodology in a Masters of Science Teaching Degree program at the Center for Science Education. He also consults on diverse issues in STEM education, such as youth programs at science centers, educational standards, and assessment. He was team leader for engineering for both A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards. Until 2007 Dr. Sneider served as Vice President for Educator Programs at the Museum of Science in Boston, and prior to that he served as Director of Astronomy and Physics Education at the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California. Dr. Sneider currently serves as a consultant to STEM Next, formerly the Noyce Foundation. Click here to read his article.
Gerald R. Solomon
Executive Director, Samueli Foundation
Gerald R. Solomon has served as the Samueli Foundation’s Executive Director since April 2008. Prior to the Samueli Foundation, he served as CEO of Public Health Foundation Enterprises (PHFE) for seven years. At the Samueli Foundation, Mr. Solomon oversees their philanthropic activities, focused on STEM Education, Youth, Integrative Health and Jewish Leadership. He led the design and development of the OC STEM Initiative, the nation’s first STEM Ecosystem. Mr. Solomon, in addition to serving as the Chair of OC STEM, serves as co-chair of the STEM Funders Network. He also serves as co-chair of the STEM Learning Ecosystem Initiative. This initiative has received national attention and support from such organizations as OSTP in the White House, DOE, CNCS, CGI, NSTA and ASTC to name a few. Mr. Solomon earned his BA at Boston University, and J.D. from California Western Law school, and actively practiced law for 18 years in San Diego before moving to the nonprofit and philanthropic fields. Click here to read his article.
Mark St. John, Ph.D.
Founder and President, Inverness Research
Mark St. John, Ph.D. is the founder and president of Inverness Research. His educational background includes aeronautical engineering, physics, science and mathematics education and evaluation. Located in Northern California, Inverness Research studies improvement efforts in STEM and other disciplines in the both the formal and informal domain. Inverness projects range from exhibit evaluations to the study of professional development designs to the evaluation of large national networks to supporting teaching of science to Buddhist monks. Through the evaluation of hundreds of projects, Dr. St. John and his group have had the opportunity to study a wide range of investments in the improvement of education. He has worked with the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Education, states, and many private foundations in helping to design and evaluate their educational initiatives. Click here to read his article.
Martin Storksdieck, Ph.D.
Director of the Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning, Oregon State University
Dr. Martin Storksdieck is director of the Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning at Oregon State University. Before becoming the Director of the Center he served as the Director of the Board on Science Education (BOSE) at the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences. His research focuses on the role of science-based professionals and science hobbyists in communicating their passions to a broader public and how we learn when we do so voluntarily, and how learning is connected to our behaviors, identities and beliefs. Storksdieck has also previously served as director of project development and senior researcher at the non-profit Institute for Learning Innovation. He holds an M.S. in biology from the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany; an M.P.A. from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government; and a Ph.D. in education from Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany. Click here to read his article.
Senior Vice President, Policy & Research, ExpandED Schools
Saskia Traill is the Senior Vice President, Policy & Research, at ExpandED Schools, dedicated to closing the learning gap by increasing access to enriched education experiences. Saskia leads the organization’s research and policy efforts in expanded learning, including opportunities for children to engage in quality science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Prior to working at ExpandED Schools, Saskia was a Program Manager for the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, working to build collaborative state systems for early care and education. She has authored and co-authored articles for peer-reviewed journals, policy briefs and reports on a range of issues, including STEM ecosystems, cross-sector collaborations, and STEM assessment and evaluation. She received her B.A. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in research psychology from Stanford University. Click here to read her article.
Beth Unverzagt has served as the Director of OregonASK since 2005. OregonASK is a collaboration of public and private organizations and community members which seek to address common-issues and concerns across all out-of-school time services- child care, recreation, education and youth development. Beth coordinates state level efforts around afterschool and summer programming, including OregonASK’s STEM system building efforts. Beth also educates policy makers, local and state representatives, educational stakeholders and afterschool professionals around the issues and resources for the field of afterschool and advocates for systemic change within statewide systems. In 2016, she received the White House Champions of Change award, for her work in summer learning. Click here to read her article.
President and CEO, Girls Inc.
Judy Vredenburgh is President and CEO of Girls Inc., the organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through direct service and advocacy. As a network of local organizations, Girls Inc. provides out-of- school time programming to meet the needs of today’s girls, in partnership with schools and at centers throughout the United States and Canada. Through its comprehensive approach to whole-girl development, Girls Inc. helps girls push past serious barriers, break the cycle of poverty, and become the next generation of leaders. Girls Inc. is on an accelerated path to double the number of girls served by 2020 and strengthen its public policy efforts to be the leading advocate for girls. Click here to read her article.
Ridgway H. White
President, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Ridgway H. White is president of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. He began his career at Mott as an intern in 2002 and was hired as a Program Assistant two years later. After working his way up through the program ranks, he served as the Foundation’s vice president for special projects and chair of its management working group from 2011 until he became president in January 2015. As part of his earlier program work for the Foundation, White also served as a loaned executive for the Uptown Reinvestment Corporation, a nonprofit organization focused on revitalizing Flint. Over the course of a decade, White oversaw the development of over 1 million square feet of mixed use space, paving the way for numerous new businesses and restaurants to open. Notable projects included the creation of the Flint Health and Wellness district, a four block area that’s now home to the Flint Farmers’ Market and the Flint campus of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Click here to read her article.
President and CEO, YMCA of the USA
Kevin Washington is President and CEO of YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), the national resource office for the Y. Washington assumed his post on Feb. 1, 2015, and is the 14th person and first African-American to lead the Y Movement in the U.S. He came to Y-USA from the YMCA of Greater Boston, where he served as President and CEO from 2010 to 2014. Prior to Boston, Washington served as President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Hartford from 2000 to 2010. He also was Chief Operating Officer for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago from 1995 to 2000. He got his start in the Y as a Youth Program Director at the Philadelphia YMCA's Christian Street branch in 1978. A native of Philadelphia, Washington earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Temple University. Click here to read his article.
Dr. Rose Wilder
Superintendent, Clarendon School District One
Rose Wilder, Ph.D. serves as Superintendent of Clarendon School District One in South Carolina and leads the district’s efforts to provide stimulating learning environments and comprehensive support systems that produce engaged, motivated, self-directed, and critical thinkers for a 21st century global society. Dr. Wilder is leading several exciting initiatives to improve student learning and engage the community and families in a rural community in South Carolina. In partnership with Engaging Creative Minds’ Summer STEAM Summer Institute, Clarendon One was one of the three STEAM Institute sites that led to Engaging Creative Minds being just one of only four recipients of the 2016 National Summer Learning Association’s New York Life’s Excellence in Summer Learning Award. Click here to read her article.
Nebraska State Senator, District 27
State Senator Anna Wishart was born, raised, and has lived in Nebraska for over 30 years. Anna was elected to the Nebraska Legislature in 2016 and, as a freshman Senator, was selected to serve on the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee. Anna is a proud graduate of Lincoln Public Schools and graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont with a degree in film studies. While film will always be one of her passions, Anna returned to Nebraska to embark on a career in politics. Anna has worked at the Nebraska Legislature for six years. In 2011, Anna was elected to the Lincoln Airport Authority, and served as Chair of the Board. Anna currently also works at Beyond School Bells, a coalition with the mission to improve access to quality Expanded Learning Opportunities for Nebraska’s youth. Click here to read her article.